Workforce Development Program
About the Program
To help meet the growing demand for health IT professionals, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) funded the Workforce Development Program. The goal of the program was to train a new workforce of skilled health IT professionals who will be able to help providers implement electronic health records and achieve meaningful use. The Workforce Program consisted of four initiatives: Community College Consortia, Curriculum Development Centers, Competency Exam Program, and University-Based Training.
Learn about our students and what they are saying about the workforce programs by reading the student testimonials [PDF - 235 KB].
Sustainability of the Health IT Workforce Development Program
Several studies continue to highlight the scarcity of a trained a health IT workforce as a barrier to success. The framers of the HITECH Act recognized this need and made provisions for funding training programs. These training programs are now established and in a position to expand and continue to meet the evolving needs of the health care environment. The passage of the Affordable Care Act and the increasing importance of team-based care, and care coordination have started to alter the health care landscape. Educational institutions are already in the process of developing and adapting to these needs.
- Funding provided through the HITECH Act established a foundation of training resources that will endure and be built upon beyond the funding period. Examples include:
- The five funded Curriculum Development Centers created robust training material that is now publicly available to educational institutions to start, enhance, or expand training programs
- Bellevue College developed customized training for rural providers that is freely available.
- Cuyahoga Community College is using the funding to create interactive online modules for training workers to support the adoption and delivery of patient-centric care.
- Funded colleges having implemented Health IT training were able to leverage other funding streams to continue to expand the training. Johnson Community College in Kansas, St. Louis Community College, St. Louis, Bellevue College, Tidewater Community College and Cuyahoga Community College were recipients of Department of Labor funding.
- The competency exam will continue to be administered through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) allowing health IT professionals to acquire a recognized credential that validates their knowledge, skills and abilities.
- University-Based Training grantees’ new and expanded certificate and degree offerings developed through the program will continue to operate and evolve using enrollee tuition as a primary source of funding.